Long Beach State 49ers vs. Syracuse Orange Pick
College Basketball Picks
Date/Time: December 6, 8:00 pm EST
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Point Spread: Syracuse -20
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The Long Beach State 49ers went to Pittsburgh and stunned the Panthers in the non-conference season last year. They’ll travel to the Carrier Dome to try to knock off the Syracuse Orange on Thursday night. Both of these teams look a lot different than they did last year. Long Beach State isn’t the mid-major power they were a year ago, but they are still good enough to make some noise if Syracuse overlooks them.
Dan Monson has done a nice job taking the Long Beach State basketball program to the next level. The 49ers went to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Big West last year. Last year’s team was full of veteran players, and that means this season’s team is full of newcomers and inexperienced players. So far this year, their youth has led to lots of ups and downs for this team. Long Beach State picked up two big road wins at Fresno State and Loyola Marymount, before dropping a home game to Fresno State (the same team they just beat on the road) this past weekend.
James Ennis leads the team in both scoring and rebounding this year. He is averaging 16.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Long Beach State’s offense was prolific last year, but the 49ers are shooting just 40.1 percent from the floor so far this year. They are shooting a miserable 61.4 percent from the free throw line. Those numbers are going to have to improve if this team is going to be a factor in March this year.
Syracuse lost some big time players from last year’s team, but the Orange have lots of highly touted youngsters to plug into the lineup. Michael Carter-Williams is starting to show why NBA scouts are so high on him. Carter-Williams is a 6’6 guard who leads the team in both assists and rebounds. If he develops an outside shot, he’ll be extremely difficult to stop. James Southerland is one of the few veterans on this team, and he has stepped up in a big way. Southerland is shooting 56 percent from the floor overall, and 47 percent from three-point range.
The Orange actually struggled early in the game against Eastern Michigan earlier this week, before blowing them out 84-48. Coach Boeheim surprised a lot of people by putting on full-court pressure in that game. It sparked his team in a big way. This Syracuse team has a ton of athleticism, and it seems Boeheim wants to find ways to get them out in the open floor for some transition buckets. The zone is still very tough to shoot over. Opponents are only shooting 33.4 percent against the Orange this year.
The over is 4-1 in Syracuse’s last 5 games overall. The over is 5-1 in Long Beach State’s last 6 road games. Look for a high scoring game here.
Syracuse 83 Long Beach State 63